Kiritimati (Christmas Island)

Kiritimati (Christmas Island)

Glenda | Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Thought I would tell you a little about a well known fly fishing destination in the Pacific Ocean, frequented by Australians - the Republic of Kiribati. One island, Christmas Island (not the same one in the Indian Ocean which is a territory of Australia), is part of the Kiribati Northern Line islands and is the main destination for fly fishers. Kiritimati is a beautiful place and is close to the Americas, especially the Hawaiian Islands.

   CI1 The shop I work at organises trips and a few of the guys from the club of which I am a member are going to Christmas Island (official name, Kiritimati) in June and July. Christmas Island is a raised coral atoll and has one of the largest ground area of any atoll in the world.  The name Christmas Island was probably derived after being discovered on Christmas day (I know Captain Cook discovered the Island on Christmas Eve), much the same as its namesake in the Indian Ocean but Kiritimati also means Christmas in the Kiribati language. 

The USA claimed the islands that make up Kiribati which then became a republic in 1979. It is amazing there are any living species' of any sort on or around the islands given the bomb testing conducted by the USA and Britain in the late 50's and 60's during the Cold War.  Locals were not even evacuated for some of the tests and to this day there are various law suits being contested about illnesses contracted during the testings.

There is much to do on the Kiribati islands which has a total population of about 100,000 but the most exciting is the fly fishing and the species available to target - long tail tuna, GTs, sail fish and bonefish to name a few which can all be found off Christmas Island.  The flats are crystal clear and the guides, all locals, know the best fishing spots.  Given Christmas Island is an atoll, your boots may fill with coral whilst fishing but who cares....better to be out there to begin with!!

So Kiritimati is on my to do list, hopefully next year..... you may wish to consider it for yours.

The video this week is titled Christmas Island Fly Fishing with Gavin Hurley, a guide here in Australia. He catches a diverse range of the available species on CI (Christmas Island).  Hope you enjoy.

Plus a few photos of the island to get you excited.

happy fishing, cheers Glenda